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One of the conveniences of computer technology is that it often masks complex interactions behind a simple human experience. The Internet is a perfect example. Everyday, millions of users move from Web site to Web site by simply typing domain names (e.g., http://www.verisign.com) into a computer's Internet browser. Yet, unseen and often unknown to the user, each entry actually triggers a critical, time-sensitive process before the Web site can be accessed.
In order for Internet users to reach a Web site, their computer must find the address of the Web server that hosts the desired site. Computers locate one another across the Internet using numbers, not letters. For each Web site on the Internet there is a unique domain name and numeric address, known as an Internet Protocol (IP) address (e.g., 188.8.131.52). This number, while quite convenient for the computer to use, is difficult for Internet users to remember; thus the need for domain names.
Each time a user enters a domain name into a computer's browser, a process translates the user-friendly name into the computer-friendly IP address needed to locate the appropriate Web server. This critical process is the primary function of the Domain Name System (DNS).
- "The Domain Name System (DNS):A Brief Overview and Management Guide," Verisign http://www.verisign.com, http://www.verisign.com/static/002103.pdf
File Name: DNS101_versign.pdf
Post Date: March 28, 2005 at 2:55 AM CST; 0855 GMT